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Breakfast keeps learners in school

2023-09-11  Max Heinrich

Breakfast keeps learners in school

ONGWEDIVA – Most of the 410 learners of the Onaakale combined school in Ohangwena region do not miss a day at school because of the 10h00 breakfast of soft porridge.

School principal Sanio Sheefeni said with the school feeding programme being fully functional, learners are attracted to coming to school.

“Most of our learners come from less privileged homes and extreme poverty, and parents really try hard to make ends meet. Most parents do not work, and there’s barely any food at home, so learners are grateful for the soft porridge they get at school,” she said.

Sheefeni added that in spite of the majority of the learners walking long distances to get to school – academically, their performance is fair.

“Academic performance is at 48%, and it is fine, but we are trying to push harder. Our teaching environment is not that conducive, since some learners are taught in shacks and it is very hot during this season,” she noted.

A grade four learner told New Era on condition of anonymity that he and his sister wake up at 04h00 to prepare for school.

“We live very far, and we arrive at school at around 06h00. School starts at 08h00 but we get here early because if you are late for class, you will be punished,” he added.

Despite the challenges faced by the school and its learners, school dropouts are not so common.

“School dropout is not an issue here, and we so far only experienced one last semester. That learner got pregnant and decided to drop out. When it comes to learners’ school preparation, we spoke to parents to make sure they prepare the learners early to avoid them being late for class – and we have put up measures for latecomers. We mostly just punish them to either clean up the yard,” said Sheefeni.

2023-09-11  Max Heinrich

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